ESA Support Group Mental Health (A Complete guide)

In this brief guide, we will discuss ESA support group mental health as well as other things you need to know about ESA claims, like How long it might take for an ESA claim to come through, or ESA assessments. We will also look at some ESA support group mental health descriptors.

ESA Support Group Mental Health 

ESA Support group for mental health is a criteria decided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in which people who are suffering from severe mental health problems are allowed to recuperate and seek help and not work as long as they are receiving ESA.

ESA support groups generally exist for people suffering from severe or very disabling illnesses of a physical or mental nature, and they serve the purpose of allowing the person some time off because it is unreasonable to ask someone to work when they are ill enough to be receiving ESA.

ESA support groups for mental health may be applicable to someone after they have submitted a sick note from their mental health professional to the relevant authority and they have been assessed accordingly.

This process may span approximately 13 weeks, and once the ESA agent or supervisor has assessed the person they may not even need the sick note anymore.

In cases of people who do not belong to the Work Related Activity group, the ESA support group for mental health may last indefinitely, depending on the person’s recovery and ability to get back to work.

However, in case of the individuals who do belong to the Work Related Activity category, ESA support group for mental health there is a one-year time limit on payment.

ESA support groups are a part of the Employment and Support Allowance, and this scheme is run by the department of work and pensions.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), is a benefit that offers financial support to employees. It provides an allowance to individuals unable to work because of an illness or disability.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) uses an ESA work capability assessment to assess an employee’s claim for ESA. It focuses on how the condition may affect an employee on a day-to-day basis.

ESA Support Group Mental Health Descriptors

For someone to fit into the ESA support group for mental health, they need to fulfill some criteria and they need to have some descriptors applied to them to see what needs they have pertinent to their particular situation.

According to the Benefits and work website that provides information about the people who need to claim benefits particular to their situation, the ESA support group mental health descriptors are as follows:

“1.  Mobilizing unaided by another person with or without a walking stick, manual wheelchair or other aid if such aid can reasonably be used.

Cannot either

 (i)  mobilize more than 50 meters on level ground without stopping in order to avoid significant discomfort or exhaustion

or

(ii)  repeatedly mobilize 50 meters within a reasonable timescale because of significant discomfort or exhaustion.

 2.  Transferring from one seated position to another.

Cannot move between one seated position and another seated position located next to one another without receiving physical assistance from another person.

3.  Reaching.

Cannot raise either arm as if to put something in the top pocket of a coat or jacket.

4. Picking up and moving or transferring by the use of the upper body and arms (excluding standing, sitting, bending or kneeling and all other activities specified in this Schedule).

Cannot pick up and move a 0.5 liter carton full of liquid.

5. Manual dexterity.

Cannot either:

(a) press a button, such as a telephone keypad or;

(b) turn the pages of a book With either hand.

6. Making self understood through speaking, writing, typing, or other means normally used.

Cannot convey a simple message, such as the presence of a hazard.

7. Understanding communication by—

(a) verbal means (such as hearing or lip-reading) alone,

(b) non-verbal means (such as reading 16 point print or Braille) alone, or

(c) a combination of (a) and (b),

using any aid that is normally, or could reasonably be, used, unaided by another person.

Cannot understand a simple message due to sensory impairment, such as the location of a fire escape.

8. Absence or loss of control whilst conscious leading to extensive evacuation of the bowel and/or bladder, other than enuresis (bed-wetting), despite the wearing or use of any aids or adaptations which are normally, or could reasonably be, worn or used.

At least once a week experiences

(i) loss of control leading to extensive evacuation of the bowel and/or voiding of the bladder; or

(ii) substantial leakage of the contents of a collecting device;

sufficient to require cleaning and a change in clothing.

9.  Learning tasks.

(a) Cannot learn how to complete a simple task, such as setting an alarm clock, due to cognitive impairment or mental disorder.

10. Awareness of everyday hazards (such as boiling water or sharp objects).

(a) Reduced awareness of everyday hazards leads to a significant risk of: 

(i) injury to self or others; or

(ii) damage to property or possessions,

such that they require supervision for the majority of the time to maintain safety.

11. Initiating and completing personal action (which means planning, organization, problem-solving, prioritizing or switching tasks).

Cannot, due to impaired mental function, reliably initiate or complete at least 2 sequential personal actions. 

12. Coping with change.

(a) Cannot cope with any change, due to cognitive impairment or mental disorder, to the extent that day to day life cannot be managed. 

13. Coping with social engagement due to cognitive impairment or mental disorder.

Engagement in social contact is always precluded due to difficulty relating to others or significant distress experienced by the individual.

14. Appropriateness of behavior with other people, due to cognitive impairment or mental disorder.

Has, on a daily basis, uncontrollable episodes of aggressive or disinhibited behavior that would be unreasonable in any workplace.

15.  Conveying food or drink to the mouth.

(a) Cannot convey food or drink to the claimant’s own mouth without receiving physical assistance from someone else;

(b) Cannot convey food or drink to the claimant’s own mouth without repeatedly stopping, experiencing breathlessness or severe discomfort;

(c) Cannot convey food or drink to the claimant’s own mouth without receiving regular prompting given by someone else in the claimant’s physical presence; or

(d) Owing to a severe disorder of mood or behavior, fails to

convey food or drink to the claimant’s own mouth without receiving —

(i) physical assistance from someone else; or

(ii) regular prompting given by someone else in the claimant’s presence.

16.  Chewing or swallowing food or drink.

(a) Cannot chew or swallow food or drink;

(b) Cannot chew or swallow food or drink without repeatedly stopping, experiencing breathlessness or severe discomfort;

(c) Cannot chew or swallow food or drink without repeatedly receiving regular prompting given by someone else in the claimant’s presence; or

(d) Owing to a severe disorder of mood or behavior, fails to—

(i) chew or swallow food or drink; or

(ii) chew or swallow food or drink without regular prompting given by another person in the physical presence of the claimant.”

ESA Mental Health Assessment

ESA mental health assessment is done in situations where the DWP needs to decide whether someone needs to be allotted an ESA support group for mental health or even to assess their ESA claim.

The ESA mental health assessment is done by a mental health professional from the department of work and pensions after the sick note or fit note has been supplied by the person making the claim, and the process may sometimes take up to 13 weeks.

After the ESA mental health assessment has been done, the sick note or fit note is also no longer required and the person can directly deal with the ESA support group with regard to their mental health state.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we looked at ESA support group mental health as well as other things you need to know about ESA claims, like How long it might take for an ESA claim to come through, or ESA assessments. We also looked at some ESA support group mental health descriptors.

ESA support groups for mental health leads to better treatment of individuals with mental health problems, especially if it is keeping them from working, and it allows them to not be left alone on their own.

Mental health issues are hard to live with sometimes and if someone is suffering from depression or anxiety, work conditions can make it that much worse, which is why agencies like ESA are so important; they help with the rehabilitation of individuals and ensure that the person is also treated when they are off work.

If you have any more questions or comments about ESA support group mental health, please reach out to us at any time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): ESA Support Group Mental Health

Can you get ESA for mental health?

Yes, you can get ESA for mental health issues and according to the criteria for ESA, if someone is suffering from mental health conditions, they may apply for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) to help ease their financial pressures. 

There are usually two types of allowances by the ESA and they may be based on either the person’s National Insurance contribution or their income.

What does it mean if you are in the support group for ESA?

When you are in a support Group for ESA (Support group customers), it means that you are someone who is so severely ill or disabled that it is unreasonable to require you to engage in work-related activity as a condition for receiving ESA. 

ESA Support Group customers have periodical medical assessment reviews (every three years at a maximum) to assess if the person has gotten better or if they can be a part of the workforce again.

Can you get ESA for depression and anxiety?

Yes, you can get ESA for depression and anxiety, as it has been seen that most of the ESA claims are for stress, anxiety and depression. 

To get an ESA for depression and anxiety one may apply online or offline and after the applicant has collected a medical certificate (fit note) for their medical specialist who is reviewing their case, they can then make an ESA claim with the DWP.

How long does the ESA Support Group last for?

ESA support group may last for an indefinite time as it is not specified at the start how long it will last. However, in the ESA support group for the Work-Related Activity Group under the provisions of ESA there is a one-year time limit on payment.

Do I need sick notes for the ESA support group?

Yes, you need sick notes for the ESA support group, as you need to submit this for your claim at the start. The sick note for ESA Support group may be acquired from a GP or a psychiatrist or other medical professional relevant to your case, and after 13 weeks of submission of the sick note Jobcentre Plus will do their own medical test and you will no longer need fit notes. Claims for the ESA may also be backdated for up to three months.

Citations

https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/articles/questions-and-answers-employment-and-support-allowance-advisers

https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/employment-and-support-allowance/esa-glossary/1353-support-group-descrip

https://www.mentalhealthandmoneyadvice.org/en/welfare-benefits/am-i-eligible-for-employment-support-allowance-esa/what-is-esa/

https://www.healthassured.org/blog/employment-and-support-allowance-esa-assessment/

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/changes-to-employment-and-support-allowance#:~:text=If%20you%20are%20in%20the,a%20maximum%20of%20365%20days.

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